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Texas A&M-Galveston Marine Engineering Technology Department & Head Honored as Winners of Engineering Award     

July 7, 2022

Dr. Alok Verma accepts the 2022 Frederick J. Berger Award given to him as Head of Texas A&M University at Galveston Marine Engineering Technology Department and in recognition of both individual and programmatic excellence.

By Andréa Bolt, Social Media & Communications Manager

Both the Marine Engineering Technology Department of Texas A&M University at Galveston and its head, Powell Chair Dr. Alok. K. Verma, have been awarded the 2022 Frederick J. Berger Award by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in recognition of programmatic and individual excellence in engineering technology education. 

“I feel very happy to win this award,” Verma said. “The professional satisfaction, being recognized by your peers for your service to engineering education, is quite gratifying.”

Dr. Alok Verma and the Frederick J. Berger Award
Dr. Alok Verma and the Frederick J. Berger Award

The Department of Marine Engineering Technology prepares students for shoreside and offshore positions in the maritime industry, particularly within the realm of ship propulsion, electrical power generation, and distribution. The program combines all the fundamentals of engineering within a maritime context. 

In the two years Verma has served as department head, he said the focus has been on the quality of learning experiences, as well as recognizing and showcasing the power of diverse faculty leadership. Roughly half of the department’s faculty are licensed mariners, the other half are “research-focused Ph.D.s.” Verma feels this is a particularly notable strength. 

“Everybody contributes toward excellence in their own way. The mariners provide hands-on labs and activities. Faculty members participating in high-level research bring in external funding and provide academic research experience to classrooms. The students benefit from both.”

Next up in engineering innovation for the department is focusing on developing new programs, particularly the upcoming Minor in Electro Marine Engineering Technology. This program highlights the rapidly evolving aspects of the maritime industry as it becomes more technologically advanced. Marine mechatronics, the term used to describe the basis of the field, involves electrical, mechanical, and marine engineering in combination with communication. This program is ideal for students interested in robotics, automation, and wireless communications. 

“We’re excited to also streamline our accreditation process (with the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology),” said Verma. “But this award is definitely a big plus, a win for our department. It says a lot about the quality of our program and what our students learn.” 

Verma has an extensive career spanning over forty years in engineering and engineering education. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India; a Master of Engineering in Engineering Mechanics from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering also from Old Dominion, as well as a Certificate of Professional Study in Engineering Management. 


Media contact:
Andréa Bolt
Social Media & Communications Manager

Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.